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Industry Credentials: a Valuable Student Pathway to Success

What’s Next for the Industry Certification Education and Performance Data System Initiative?

by NSC Blog | Nov 6, 2020 | Electronic Transcript Exchange, Postsecondary Data Partnership, StudentTracker, StudentTracker for High Schools, Transcript & Data Exchange Services |

Part 4 of a 4-part series

The National Student Clearinghouse developed the Industry Certification Education and Performance Data System initiative as a pilot program to show a holistic view of how learning is happening across the country and to represent this evolution accurately for the education and workforce communities. The program has already yielded fascinating insights for the manufacturing industry.

Here’s a preview of what’s next for the program moving forward:

  • The Clearinghouse will analyze the geographical impacts of wages – how do wage levels correspond to geographical location?
  • The initiative will examine the types and sizes of employers for this population that are included in the data, in order to understand what types of employers are hiring entry-level manufacturing workers.
  • The program will focus on assessing retention in the industry over time. Are workers staying in the manufacturing industry after earning credentials? What does the path forward look like?
  • Most importantly, the Clearinghouse aims to expand the work out into other industries. This requires getting additional credentialing bodies on board to partner with the Clearinghouse and the Census Bureau.
  • The Clearinghouse is continuing this pilot research with the Census Bureau throughout 2021.

Currently, the Clearinghouse is looking to pique interest among credentialing bodies in other industries by sharing some of the outcomes data the project is generating.

“We’ve partnered with Workcred as a part of their voluntary data-sharing network that includes numerous credentialing bodies to drive interest in this initiative,” said Vanessa Brown, the Clearinghouse’s managing director for strategic initiatives. “That network has been meeting since February 2020 with the goal to help credentialing bodies understand the value of data sharing as it relates to understanding the value of their credentialing programs in the labor market. Those meetings are allowing us to leverage some of the information that we’ve already seen out of the census to get other groups interested in joining us in this journey. It’s really starting to drive interest.”

The new work reality that COVID-19 has created has increased the Clearinghouse’s commitment to helping all learners – across both education and workforce communities – gain skills and credentials to enable them to find good jobs. Defining the various educational pathways remains an ongoing challenge that the project is working on. Overall, the data is having an enormous positive impact on the landscape of industry credentials.

“The wave [of industry credentials] is now enormous and continuing to push in all directions on policymakers, on the education system, and ultimately on the labor market. We are looking to this type of information to determining how do we, as a national association for this industry, try to define what an industry-recognized certification is,” said Gardner Carrick, vice president for strategic initiatives at NAM/MI. “Having data to back up these decisions is extremely helpful as we’re moving forward in trying to bring some clarity, and to bring some certainty.”

Further, the data is helping the U.S. Census Bureau understand a growing segment of the workforce. “This is a chance for us to truly understand an important part of the economy that is growing and to understand not just a point in time, but trajectories over time,” said Nikolas Pharris-Ciurej, a statistician with the Census Bureau.

Email the Industry Credentials team at industrycredentials@studentclearinghouse.org to learn more!

How the Industry Certification and Education Performance Data System will work

 

“[We’re leveraging] some of the information that we’ve already seen out of the census to get other groups interested in joining us in this journey. It’s really starting to drive interest.”

Vanessa Brown
Managing Director, Strategic Initiatives, National Student Clearinghouse

 

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